Saturday, June 20, 2009

Straight Razor Jazz

Scott Storm (director) and Anthony Miller (producer) are the worst movie industry people in the world to work with.

First: they paid me.
Second: they treated me with respect. They treated the work with respect.
Third: they made me a full partner.
Fourth: they're doing everything they said they would do to get the project going. And thus far are doing it according to schedule.

WTF? I'm a writer.

I'm supposed to hike my skirt up in gratitude. It's a Brave New World, kids... and about fuckin time. This time last year I was enjoying a self imposed hiatus from writing. It's been a shitty long winter and AWOL Blues had just been dropped two weeks before the hiring of a casting director (yet another blog). So I spent my spring and summer learning the bass guitar. Joined a band. Gardened. Started making my own BBQ sauce (Smokey Bee and RedEye Jack). You know, living life like a regular person.

Until I got an email from SS. SS is a kick-ass filmmaker out of LA whom I met on the festival circuit in 2006. We'd kept in contact as we dug each other's work. (The year before SS asked me to do a "polish" on a script he'd optioned. Well, that turned into a half page one rewrite and a massive rewrite. All for free, cuz, well, I dig him and the project.

Unfortunately he was unable to renew the option.) I remember it being a very simple process, getting started on this gig. Well, the process is always more involved than you remember it, but the simplified version is SS had a kernel for a thriller, but already had a writer down in Texas. He said he had some doubts about the project there and I told him to keep me in the loop. And, of course SS is a smart man. I'd get a few crumbs here and there. Just enough line and bait to keep me coming back. I pitched some ideas for fun.

They liked them. Hell, I liked them.

Finally, it came back that that writer was not going to work out. They came back and said I was the guy. I was on hiatus and said make me an offer. They did. Full partner. And before I received my first payment they sent me a little bonus check.


This is not how this is supposed to happen. You're not supposed to be treated with respect and paid for your time like this. And serendipitously my buddy Joe Reno called and said get your ass out here, I'm house sitting in Venice. A brief conversation with E and my boss and I bought a plane ticket for a week of sunny beach side writing. One week. A full outline and the first thirty pages. Living the dream. And my producers paid for my airfare and the dinner check. And trust me there were a lot of Cadillac Margaritas on there.

And because of this attitude, I delivered the best script of my life.


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